“Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
In humankind’s earliest histories we find accounts of people trusting that certain stones could heal or be used as talismans. Other stones were kept as treasured heirlooms or given as tokens of love. And, of course, some stones were gathered and used for divination – the ancient metaphysical art of gathering information and perspectives about our present and future that are elusive by any other means.
Divination with Stones
The formal term for divining with stones is Pessomany. The Celts in particular seemed to enjoy this method, and often carried divinatory stones for good fortune. The Welsh were likewise enamored of stone readings, using yellow, white, and black stones for castings. The Stone Oracle you’re creating here builds on this foundation and goes a little further by offering ideas for improving the overall diversity of interpretations this system can provide.
Essentially this kit is similar to a rune set or Tarot deck except that instead of artwork or carvings, the messages of the Earth speak directly to our hearts. Each crystal is a small piece of Gaia housing hundreds of years of history and wisdom inside. Each has a special energy, a lesson, and a perspective to offer if we but look, listen, and learn.
Choosing your Magical Crystals
You can create a Stone Oracle from as many stones as you wish. We recommend having at least 13 so that you have a good diversity representing different facets of the human experience. Which 13? Ah, that’s where this gets fun. The answer is really up to you!
Think of stones that you love, crystals that capture your imagination – ones whose energies you feel down to your toes.
Besides your relationship with specific crystals, you have two other options open to you. You can choose stones based on their folkloric and magical correspondences for one. Or, you can create a set based on color symbolism and meaning.
Color-Based Stone Oracle
Using color as your interpretive guide for a personal Stone Oracle isn’t difficult. You simply have to find the right stones and apply common associations for each hue. For example:
- Black stones like Obsidian, Jet or Black Tourmaline. Black represents hidden things, mysteries and ancient knowledge (perhaps a past life lesson).
- Blue stones like Azurite, Lapis or Sodalite. Blue represents being centered, calm, sincere, effective in communications and the Water Element.
- Clear stones like Quartz, Herkimer Diamond or Calcite. Clear crystals represent awareness, clarity and healing.
- Gold stones like Goldstone, Gold Apatite or Pyrite. Gold represents wealth, authority, the Sacred Masculine and enthusiasm.
- Green stones like Moss Agate, Jasper or Green Fluorite. Green represents new beginnings, revival, fertility, growth and the Earth Element.
- Grey stones like Celestite, Grey Howlite or Smoky Quartz. Grey represents uncertainty.nutrality and formality.
- Indigo stones like indigo Gabbro, Iolite or Sodalite. Indigo represents introspection, maturity, honesty and ethics.
- Orange stones like Sunstone, Orange Calcite or Carnelian. Orange represents fulfilment, happiness, culmination, and hospitality.
- Red stones like Rhodocrosite, Red Chalcedony or Rhodonite. Red represents enthusiasm, passion, action, courage and the Fire Element.
- Silver colored stones like Galena, Silver Pyrite, or Stibnite. Silver represents lunar energy, the Sacred Feminine and introspection.
- Violet colored stones like Amethyst, Lepidolite or Purple Fluorite. Violet represents intuition, visionary dreams, magic and great deeds.
- White stones like Snowflake, Candle Quartz or Moonstone. White represents hope, accord, and liberation.
- Yellow stones like Bumble Bee Jasper, Honey Calcite or Citrine. Yellow represents warmth, friendship, communication, decisiveness and the Air Element.
If you don’t want to use the color-based system you can, instead, simply base your interpretations on the magical correspondences for each stone. Taking crystals from the color list you get something like this:
- Amethyst: A spiritual awakening. Overcoming a problem. Peaceful resolution. Good judgement.Regulating impulses.
- Carnellian: Happiness. Improved self-confidence. The need for focus or courage. Healing (especially from sexual abuse).
- Celestite: Helpful Spirit Guides. Self-expression. Mental clarity. Decreasing anxiety. A courageous act.
- Citrine: A stroke of luck. Magical energy. Success (especially in a career). Improved family dynamics.
- Clear Quartz: Protection. Psychic awareness. Healing personal pains. Clear-mindedness.
- Galena: Centering and balance. Building harmony between people. Living holistically. Awareness of other realms and astral energies.
- Goldstone: Hope renewed. Safety. Things coming into the “light”. Ambitions. Positivity and personal drive.
- Lapis: Staying true to yourself. Wisdom. Fidelity and devotion from those around you. Healing your heart and coming into peace/acceptance. A creative burst.
- Moonstone: Safety in travels. Past life lessons manifesting. Spiritual insight. Openness (vulnerability). Joy and luck coming your way.
- Moss Agate: New or improved friendship. Money. Discovering an unanticipated treasure literally or figuratively. Longevity (personal or that of a project).
- Obsidian: Purification and cleansing. Staying grounded and centered. Transformation leads to manifestation. Personal growth.
- Rhodonite: Understanding our Soul’s contract. Laughter among friends (a happy occasion). Internalizing and processing new ideas with confidence.
- Sodoliate: Overcoming your fear. Settling a conflict by finding the truth. Emotional balance. Improved perception and insight.
Using Your Stone Oracle: Layouts or Castings
You now have another decision to make. Are you going to use your crystals by laying them out like a Tarot Deck or casting them as you might Runes. Layouts have two disadvantages. First, you can subconsciously come to recognize stones by their shape when drawing out the crystals. This recognition hampers randomness and can easily skew a reading. Please keep this in mind and perhaps endeavor to get stones that are very similarly shaped and sized. Second, if you have round stones they don’t have “reversals” like Tarot cards. Mind you, some readers only use upright interpretations for the Tarot, so you may not find this hinders your efforts.
Castings are far less complex. Start by having the querent pick out one stone that represents himself/herself. Place this in the center point of your casting cloth. Give the querent the stones and have them focus on a question or situation. Finally, when they feel like the stones have “warmed up” they sprinkle them over the surface. If a stone lands outside the border of the cloth, it is not included in your reading.
Now you can look more closely at where each stone landed. Observe if the crystals are:
- Close to each other. This usually speaks of intimate matters or things that impact the querent on a deeply personal level.
- In a line. This represents linear thinking or boxing oneself in in terms of solutions.
- Pointing to the Querent or another stone. Think of this like an arrow. That’s the way the energy of that particular crystal is moving.
- Far away from the Self Stone: Matters (or people) on the parameter that may be effecting situations unwittingly.
- In a specific pattern. A square represents foundations and stability, a circle – equality, an upward triangle is our three-fold nature, etc.
These observations add to the meaning of the crystals themselves. Now you may be thinking that this approach seems like it’s too random for you. If you are looking for a way to expand your readings you can create a personalized casting cloth.
Take any cloth to which you can easily apply paint or marker. A 12×12 piece works pretty well. You may even find a napkin suited to this task!
Next, think about how you want meanings laid out on that surface. Will you make a circle of symbols or words? Will each corner have a designation? Here are some ideas that may help:
- Mark the four directions in the four corners of the cloth
- Add the seasons in between those four points: Northeast (Winter), Southeast (Spring), Southwest (Summer) and Northwest (Fall).
- Put in the lunar phases either using traditional symbols/title or perhaps using full moon names assigned throughout the year by Native Americans.
- Include the Elementals. These might be marked inside or outside the four directions or four seasons.
- Have a “Self” point on the cloth (commonly in the center)
Other potential symbols you can use for your casting cloth include the magical nature of trees, flowers, animals etc. Just remember that the more symbols you want, the bigger your cloth should be for clarity.
Marking the Cloth
Once you have your list of chosen symbols you want to try a sample layout for them. Use small pieces of paper, one each, for your symbols or words. Put them on the cloth where you intended them to go. How does that look? Does it feel right? If not keep moving your chosen symbols and words around until you are happy with the configuration. Think of this like Feng Shui for your divination tool!
Putting it all Together
How you use your Stone Oracle depends heavily on whether you are doing a layout or casting. TIP: If you are doing layouts please remember to close your eyes and pick crystals quickly so you don’t subconsciously recognize them. If you are reading the stones for someone else they can choose them as they have no idea what symbolism you have ascribed to each stone.
Example Crystal Oracle Layout
As the stones emerge, use the placement meanings as if you were reading a traditional Tarot layout pattern. For example, if you are drawing three runes the first would be past, the second present and the third future in a straight line from left to right. Let’s consider a relationship reading as an example.
The Stones: You draw a blue stone, a black stone and a yellow stone.
Stone One – the Past: The blue stone indicates a sense of comfort in a previous relationship and if it’s over a peaceful ending.
Stone Two – the Present. Black indicates that there is something happening currently in your relationship of which you are unaware. You will need to get to the heart of this matter.
Stone Three – the future. The yellow stone speaks of a future in which your relationship becomes a deep, abiding friendship even if you had been romantic previously.
Let’s look at the same reading using the meaning of the stones themselves.
The Stones.Lapis, Obsidian and Citrine.
Stone One – the Past. Lapis in the past symbolizes a devoted partnership.
Stone Two – the Present. The Obsidian in the present implies that your relationship is changing and growing. The advice here is stay grounded in reality.
Stone Three – the Future. For the future Citrine is a very good sign. No matter what something awesome will come from this relationship going forward.
Sample Stone Oracle Casting
Let’s stick with the example of relationship questions. In this case grab out any number of stones in one handful. Think of the question then release them to the casting cloth. So, say you grab 4 of the stones and they land as follows:
Amethyst (Violet) in the East but distant from the Self point.
Lapis (Blue) nearly on top of the Self point.
Rhodonite (Red) nearly directly in the South/Summer point.
Carnelian (Orange) between the waning and new moon.
By Color Symbolism:
Violet being so far from the Self point means you are not paying attention to your dreams. They have a message for you.
Blue means that you have to remain sincere and clear in your communications.
Red symbolizes the need for action and honest enthusiasm.
Orange in that position indicates something between you is winding down. You can see it coming, so prepare.
By Stone Symbolism:
Amethyst represents a problem that you’ve overcome or on which you are very near to having closure.
Lapis counsels that you need to stay true to your heart and your vision in this relationship.
Rhodonite implies you really need to get out and have some fun. It will refresh you so you can tackle this situation more effectively.
Carnelian represents some pain from your past that you have to release and move forward. Now is the time!
Stone Divination – Hints for Success:
- Don’t do readings when you’re ill, out of sorts, angry, or tired. This energy can skew the reading.
- Don’t read for people if you cannot put aside personal opinions or negativity toward them.
- Keep disruptions and distractions to a minimum.
- Prepare yourself spiritually beforehand in a manner suited to your Path.
- Light candles, burn incense or put on some music that will create the right ambience (sensual cues help the divination process).
- Be a positive prophet. Read the information in a life-affirming manner, knowing that each person is the master of his or her destiny.
Care and Keeping of your Oracle:
As with any metaphysical tool, your kit should receive some on-going maintenance to keep it safe from random energies. A storage pouch is part of that protection, offering a protected space within which your stones can rest when not in use. Before you put the set away, you may wish to wash them in a mild soap and water, or water with a hint of lemon juice to remove any residual energy.
Additionally, consider charging your oracle regularly (rather like one charges a battery). To accomplish this put the stones in direct sunlight and moonlight for an equal amount of time. The sunlight saturates the set with conscious, logical thought which is necessary for presenting the information in a reading positively. The moonlight provides psychism and intuition, which is so necessary to doing any type of reading.
Finally, since your stones are very portable, consider keeping them with you for a while after you first purchase them. Put them under your pillow so they can speak to you in your dreams. Place them in a purse or briefcase and carry them wherever you go. This will mark the stones with your personal auric pattern, which is as unique as a fingerprint, meaning the stones will respond best to your touch.